Saturday, August 8, 2015

Kayaking on Earthquake Lake

Aug. 4 to Aug 7

On Aug. 17, 1959 at 11:37 pm a 7.5 earthquake hit Montana just west of Yellowstone Park.  The quake caused the side of the mountain to fall into the Madison River Canyon - creating Earthquake Lake.  The canyon was a popular camping location and many people were in the canyon on the night of the quake.  A total of 28 people died in the quake and the resulting land slide.  The lake has a very eerie feeling with thousands of dead trees protruding from the surface.  We thought it would be neat to kayak on the lake among all the trees.  We were lucky that the rain from the previous day and evening moved out and we had a perfect day for kayaking. 




Got to be careful as there were many trees just below the surface…


 IMG_2723  IMG_2736

After the quake blocked the flow of the Madison River the lake quickly formed.  Initially there was no outlet from the lake and the water continued to rise until the Army Corps of Engineers formed a spillway a few weeks after the quake.  As the water rose, many cabins originally on the banks of the Madison floated off their foundations and floated around the new lake.  When the spillway was built and the water levels lowered, the cabins came to rest on the hills surrounding the lake.  They are called the ghost cabins.  We found this cabin about 50 feet above the current water level about a mile from our camp site in Beaver Creek Campground.



On the way to Earthquake lake we spend some time in Virginia City, MT which is on old mining town.  The main street had many interesting old buildings. DSC_8522



Aug. 5image

Aug. 6image

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Smoke Everywhere

July 31 to Aug 4

On Friday (July 31) we were lucky and found a nice forest service campground near Marias Pass, called Summit Pass Campground just south of Glacier National Park.  The east entrance was closed due to a fire in Glacier park, so we decided to bypass the park on this trip.  On Sunday we decided to head up north toward Eureka, which is just south of the Canadian border, and follow the scenic highway 37, which follows the shore of Lake Koocanusa.  As we started out in the morning there was a little smoke in the distance which we believed was from the fire in Glacier.  However, the further north and west we got, the heavier the smoke got.  By the time we got to Eureka, it was so smoky you could hardly see the mountains.  The drive along the lake was very disappointing because it was obviously very pretty with turquoise water against a pretty mountain background, but all we could see was smoke.  We headed on south through Libby and found a really nice campground at Bull Lake (Bad Medicine Campground) .  We found out that the smoke was from the fires in Washington, Oregon, and northern California.  On Monday, we continued on south through Thompson Falls, and on toward Missoula.  We ended the day in an awesome campground near Sula called Warm Springs Campground.  The campground was very quiet with only the sound of a creek in the background.  We plan to head over toward Hebgen Lake near Yellowstone tomorrow (Wednesday).


This was our view… The white dot in the sky is the sun…IMG_2637


A painting in Eureka.  Neat how the painting blends into the grass foreground.  The people in the photo are part of the painting.IMG_1099

Found this old Dodge truck while hiking in the forest.  Looked like an old home site had burnedIMG_1102

Yes we carry the bear spray while hiking in the woods here!





July 31


Aug. 2


Aug 3